Recently the wicked witch of the west told us that her Land of Oz was beset with arsonists who were razing millions of hectares of her beautiful province. She told us that she is going to hire investigators to find these evil doers. If she was older, she might have remembered the sage wisdom of Walt Kelly’s indomitable opossum, Pogo. He told us many years ago that “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
What Alberta premier Danielle Smith does not seem to understand is that those lovely people who pour millions of dollars into the Alberta treasury—for her to spend so frivolously—are the incendiaries. With every barrel of ersatz oil garnered from the oil sands, they push Mother Nature into pushing back with climate change.
What I fail to understand is the willingness of Alberta’s voters to blame all the ill effects of climate change on those damn liberals. Here Kenney and company were draining Alberta hospitals of competent staff and they were still only electing conservative governments. I could have told them that they would end up hating the man for his hypocrisy, and cheap conservative patter. Yet they cheered when he united the right against the NDP.
And I am not saying that all the conservative premiers of Alberta were wrong. Some wiser premiers even warned against the practice of cutting taxes and using the oil revenues to buy votes.
But don’t try to tell Danielle Smith that. That woman is having a ball. She is drunk with her supposed power in that office and she belittles Albertans in the process.
An Alberta writer recently wrote that there would be no way that Alberta could shut down the tar sands operations overnight. And no thinking Canadian in the east would expect that to happen.
But some sensible forward planning is necessary. What is their future in Alberta when the tar sands are stripped of their benevolence? What happens when there is no more production to send down to the ships that will take bitumen to foreign ports?
Nobody expects the premier to suddenly act more intelligent or more gracious. That would be asking too much of her.
(With thanks to L. Frank Baum, who wrote the Wizard of Oz books, and Walt Kelly, the cartoonist who showed us the wisdom of Pogo, for helping me mix my metaphors.)
Copyright 2023 © Peter Lowry
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